Upcoming Symposium

Not Equal Yet: Building Upon Foundations of Relationship Equality

February 7, 2014 · Symposium Site

The U.S. v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry decisions mark a milestone for marriage equality in the United States. However, many unanswered questions remain as more states legalize same-sex marriage. The panels will address this dynamic legal framework as the nation moves forward.

Past Symposia

Brand New World: Distinguishing Oneself in the Global Flow

October 4-5, 2012 · Symposium Site

Ancient Greek physicians engaged in property disputes over the seals they impressed on the containers of their medications, making brand marks the oldest branch of intellectual property. The antiquity of business marks, however, has not helped their proper understanding by the law. And while the conceptual and historical foundations of copyrights and patents continue to be part and parcel of contemporary legal debates, the long term history and theorizing on brand marks is largely external to trademarks doctrine. Furthermore, whatever scholarship exists on those topics has been mostly done not by legal scholars but by archaeologists, art historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and historians of material culture.

The Daubert Hearing--From All the Critical Perspectives

March 2, 2012 · Symposium Site

Pretrial practice has long been the center of gravity in modern litigation. The vast majority of cases never go to trial. Instead, after pretrial discovery and in limine motions, the cases settle. The Supreme Court's celebrated 1993 decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, has solidified that trend. In Daubert, the Court abandoned the traditional general acceptance standard for the admissibility of scientific testimony and announced a new empirical validation test. Throughout the country counsel began basing pretrial in limine motions on Daubert to target opposition expert testimony. In criminal cases, defense counsel started challenging the prosecution's forensic evidence identifying the accused as the perpetrator. In civil tort cases, defense counsel filed motions attacking the plaintiff's evidence on general causation. When counsel won these motions, the opposition lacked sufficient evidence to go to trial. The hearing on the pretrial Daubert motion became the centerpiece of the litigation.

This symposium will begin with a demonstration Daubert hearing. After the demonstration, all the participants will deliver remarks, giving their perspective on the law and tactics of Daubert hearings. In addition, there will be expert academic commentary by Professor David Faigman of U.C. Hastings School of Law, the lead author of the popular treatise, MODERN SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE.

The Public Trust Doctrine: 30 Years Later

March 4, 2011 · Symposium Site

The public trust doctrine is rooted in the Roman Law idea of res communis, or common properties. Advocates have advanced public trust arguments for preserving natural resources. Opponents believe that public trust theories allow the unjustified taking of private property by the state without compensation.

Thirty years ago, the UC Davis Law Review held its first symposium exploring the public trust doctrine. Scholarship produced as a result of this original public trust doctrine symposium — and the resulting issue of the Law Review — had a demonstrable effect on the development of the law in California and in the nation. For example, key public trust decisions cited UC Davis Law Review articles, including the critical California Supreme Court case National Audubon Society v. Superior Court (also known as the Mono Lake case). Our hope and intention is that the upcoming symposium and the scholarship it generates will similarly impact the future development of public trust principles.

The Asian Century

February 26, 2010 · Symposium Site

If the Nineteenth Century was led by Britain, and the Twentieth Century by the United States, will the Twenty-First Century be led by Asia? If so, what will this mean for human rights, including women's and gay rights, and for economic development?

Three out of every five people in the world live in Asia. The rapid economic development of China and India over the last two decades has made Asia more central to the international system. Yet, the continent has largely remained at the periphery of discussions of legalism. This may in part be due to the complexity of Asia: the geographic entity known as Asia defies essentializing claims, instead boasting a diversity of histories and circumstances, from the skyscrapers of Shanghai to the slums of Mumbai.

The Honorable John Paul Stevens

March 6, 2009 · Symposium Site

As part of the 40th anniversary of the dedication of Martin Luther King, Jr., Hall, home to the University of California, Davis, School of Law, the 2009 UC Davis Law Review Symposium will examine the career of U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Since his appointment by President Gerald Ford in 1975, Justice Stevens has crafted a rich jurisprudence on matters involving core values of liberty, equality, and security. Legal experts from academia, journalism, and the practice, many of whom served as law clerks to the Justice, will analyze his work on topics including terrorism, criminal justice, abortion, affirmative action, and environmental protection.

First Amendment Rights in America's Public Schools: From the Schoolhouse Gate to the Courthouse Steps

March 7, 2008 · Symposium Site

The UC Davis Law Review is pleased to announce the 2008 Symposium will focus on First Amendment rights in America's public schools. Since the 1960s, it has been clear that the constitutional rights of students do not end at the schoolhouse gate. What is far less certain is the scope of those rights and the proper role of the federal courts in enforcing them. In 1969, the Supreme Court determined that student speech could only be restricted by school authorities if it materially disrupted the school's educational mission or impinged on the rights of other students.

During the next forty years, lower courts and school authorities have struggled to interpret and apply this standard in a broad range of cases and circumstances. In 1988, the Court concluded that student speech in curricular and school-sponsored activities could be regulated by school authorities as long as the restrictions were reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns. Again, lower courts and school administrators have struggled to apply this standard of review in a coherent and consistent way.

With the Supreme Court's recent decision on students' speech rights in Morse v. Frederick, the Bong Hits 4 Jesus case, these issues are even more timely — and fascinating.

Katz v. US: 40 Years Later

March 9, 2007 · Symposium Site

As the fortieth anniversary of Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967), approaches, there could hardly be a better time to reexamine that important decision. The case was a landmark in its time. With the declaration that the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places and provides protection of a reasonable expectation of privacy, the Katz case fundamentally altered the foundation of constitutional criminal procedure.

But the case is not a relic of history. The issues that were raised in the Katz case are of continued relevance for contemporary practitioners. Lawyers are still seeking to define the sorts of electronic monitoring that should be classified as Fourth Amendment searches, even as the technologies continue to evolve. Lawyers are still working to define the scope of Fourth Amendment protections in an age of global terrorism. Just a few weeks ago, in ACLU v. National Security Agency, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a warrantless wiretapping program initiated by the National Security Agency after the events of September 11, 2001. Her opinion looks back to Katz, and to the statutes enacted in its wake. In short, many of the fundamental questions discussed in the Katz case continue to pose challenges for contemporary lawyers. We hope that our symposium will provide a useful forum for an updated exploration of those questions.

Intellectual Property & Social Justice

March 10, 2006 · Symposium Site

Join us at the University of California, Davis, on Friday, March 10, to participate in an historic discussion about intellectual property's role in promoting social justice in the new century. A quarter century ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court declared in the historic case of State v. Shack that property rights serve human values. Property rights today balance myriad values, from efficiency to personhood, human health, dignity, fairness and distributive justice. But is this also true of intellectual property today? If intellectual property has come of age, we must ask whom it serves.

We have assembled some of the brightest minds in the nation, from the academy to non-profit organizations, to begin to document and articulate the relationship between intellectual property and social justice. We aspire to begin to fill a gap in intellectual property theory by broadening the theoretical underpinnings of, and agenda for, intellectual property law in the Information Age.

The theory may be behind the practice. WIPO has issued a Declaration stating that intellectual property rights in this century must take into consideration health, human rights, and development. The New York Times labels intellectual property the first social movement of the new century. Indigenous peoples claim intellectual property rights protect cultural identity and generate redistribution of economic and cultural resources.

This Symposium, to be published in the UC Davis Law Review in 2006, will begin to elaborate a social analysis of intellectual property. The Symposium will address issues such as formal versus substantive equality in cyberspace; the egalitarian benefits of new technologies and emergent forms of organizing creative work, such as open-source and Creative Commons products; the appropriation of traditional, Western intellectual property concepts by disempowered, non-Western peoples; intellectual property as a tool for development; and the reproduction of real world inequalities in cyberspace.